If Louis Taylor and his twin brother Eddie both make it through this week’s Sunshine Tour Qualifying School at Bloemfontein Golf Club and Schoeman Park Golf Club, they will be the first South African twins to play professional golf.
Louis has already made his mark nationally: He took the Freddie Tait Cup for leading amateur in the South African Open Championship last November when he was the only amateur to make the cut. He finished at one-over-par 289 after his closing 78 saw him share 59th behind winner Morten Orum Madsen of Denmark.
“I am so grateful that the South African Golf Association gave me the chance to tee it up in a tournament of this stature,” Taylor said.
“I came to see how things are run at an event like the SA Open. It was my first proper pro tournament and I wanted see how the pros play and at the same time just try to play my own game.
“After playing the SA Open, I know now this is a big step from amateur level. You can see it in every aspect and the organisation is just so professional. I’m glad that I’ve experienced it, seen it and got a glimpse of what is to come. It’s been fun to out here with all the great golfers.”
The Taylors were born in Harrismith in the Free State and then schooled at Hilton College, KwaZulu-Natal. There their sporting talent came to the fore and both were capped for the school’s first cricket team. They also excelled at hockey and were selected for the under-19 KwaZulu-Natal inter-provincial side.
Despite their success on the cricket and hockey fields, the Taylors turned to golf when they completed their schooling and relocated to Gauteng, where they attended the Gary Player Golf School of Excellence. The 22-year-olds play out of the Johannesburg Country Club and have established themselves among the leading South African amateurs.
Louis also had a runner-up finish at the IGT Race to Q-School at Kempton Park, where he lost to Eddie (left).
“I think the time has come for me to turn pro,” he said. “I know it is going to be tough and the way the Sunshine Tour works, you know you are going to be in for a tough year with all the qualifiers, but then you just need to wait for a break. If it happens early in the year, that’s great but if it doesn’t, you just have to grind it out.”
He has his work cut out for him after an opening five-over-par 77, while Eddie fared a little better with his one-over par 73.